A standing bar intersects the carved-out area near the storefront.
A standing bar intersects the carved-out area near the storefront.

Phoebe Says Wow Architects Brews Up a Coffeeshop With Sunny Accents in Taipei

Taipei’s Xinyi district is home to a diverse community of businesspeople, residents, and hikers traveling through its bustling central business district to the picturesque hills nearby. One thing they have in common? A love for coffee, satiated with a perky aplomb by Fifteen Steps Workshop. 

Architects Phoebe Wen and Shihhwa Hung of Taipei’s Phoebe Says Wow firm have transformed its 860-square-foot café—tucked into a corner beneath a mixed-use building with one side facing the trails—into a minimalist expanse of white-on-white with jolts of buzzy yellow. A carved-in area defined by polycarbonate panels framed with painted steel frames creates both space and light for guests, who can gather at a standing bar, perch on stools tucked between pots of greenery, or relax on stepped seating out front while achieving their caffeine buzz. 

Behind the opaque panels, an invite-only multi-purpose room hosts cupping seminars among the working areas and roastery. And while yellow remains the sole accent color, the space is as green as can be: Breezes from the trails mix with the aroma of fresh coffee throughout the open area, reducing the need for AC. 

Next to the takeaway window, a translucent yellow sandwich-board serves as a menu.
Next to the takeaway window, a translucent yellow sandwich-board serves as a menu.
A standing bar intersects the carved-out area near the storefront.
A standing bar intersects the carved-out area near the storefront.
Yellow borders define the contours, from floor to ceiling.
Yellow borders define the contours, from floor to ceiling.
Wood stools painted yellow and white form seating.
Wood stools painted yellow and white form seating.
The back area will host private events.
The back area will host private events.
The white-on-white bathroom is clad in field tile.
The white-on-white bathroom is clad in field tile.
Curving opaque walls fold between tiled walls to create movement and depth.
Curving opaque walls fold between tiled walls to create movement and depth.
A yellow box containing a coffee cup advertises wares to be consumed on seating in front of the shop.
A yellow box containing a coffee cup advertises wares to be consumed on seating in front of the shop.

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